A cyclist was attacked by an alligator in Florida on Monday after an accident dropped him in the water, the Martin County Sheriff’s Office said.
The cyclist sustained serious injuries after the eight-foot-long alligator grabbed him after falling from an embankment at around 11 a.m. in Halpatiokee Regional Park, the office said.
The park is located near the east coast of Florida south of Port St. Lucie.
The cyclist is a seasoned rider who lost control in a curve, Airborne Mountain Bike Club’s Scott Lorraine told West Palm Beach NBC subsidiary WPTV.
“He went straight into the water, and then the alligator, just like the bad luck, was right there,” Lorraine, who appeared at the scene, told the station.
The injured cyclist was taken to a hospital by rescue helicopter, the sheriff’s office said.
The alligator was caught by a trapper. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says it is rare for an alligator to cause serious injury in the state.
A trapper at the scene told WPTV that the animal is being relocated and its behavior suggests it has a nest nearby.
According to the Fish and Wildlife Commission, there are about seven unprovoked alligator attacks in Florida each year that are severe enough to require professional medical attention.
From 1948 to 2019, 25 people died from alligator attacks in the state, it said.